Detroit Red Wings: Nicklas Lidstrom out with Injured Ankle

Jordan MatthewsAnalyst IIIMarch 1, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 21: Nicklas Lidstrom #5 of the Detroit Red Wings controls the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on February 21, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Red Wings 2-1.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After missing Tuesday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings legendary defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom will miss at least two more games with a deep ankle bruise.

The news was reported by a local Detroit website on Thursday evening, and the seven-time Norris Trophy winner will miss Friday's game against the Minnesota Wild and Saturday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Red Wings have been dealing with plenty of injuries lately, specifically at the blue line. Jonathan Ericsson broke his wrist on Saturday in a game against the Colorado Avalanche. Then, both Lidstrom and Kyle Quincey skipped practices and missed Tuesday's game in Columbus.

Ericsson is said to be out for a month, while Quincey, who has a sore groin, is said to be skating and is a possibility for Friday's game against Minnesota.

Up front, Pavel Datsyuk has missed the past week and a half after having maintenance surgery on his knee.

Meanwhile, even with Lidstrom and Quincey's additional injuries, Ken Holland traded away extra defender Mike Commodore on Monday afternoon of the trade deadline.

Until Lidstrom is back, Brendan Smith and Doug Janik from the Grand Rapids Griffins will remain on the Detroit roster.

Janik is a veteran AHL defenseman, while Smith is widely recognized as Detroit's best, most NHL-ready prospect, and certainly their best defensive prospect.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Brendan Smith #2 of the Detroit Red Wings skates in warmups prior to his game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on September 29, 2010 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Red Wings 5-1.  (Photo by Bruce B
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

 

While Lidstrom's injury may seem to be a problem, it actually may be a blessing in disguise. The nearly 42-year-old defender will get some time to rest in the latter half of the season in preparation for the playoffs.

In the meantime, Brendan Smith will get some quality time to get accustomed to the NHL level of hockey, which could be vital to his continuous growth.

Smith is projected to be a top NHL line defender in the future, and some professional experience could be great for his development.

Detroit certainly is hoping for no further injury complications with their top defender, but some time off should be good for Lidstrom, as the Wings aim to make a run at the Stanley Cup this season.

 

Jordan Matthews is a featured columnist for the NHL and the Detroit Red Wings. You can read recent articles by Jordan here:

Five Red Wings who Need to Show Up for a Successful Cup Run

Detroit Red Wings Post-Trade Deadline Roster Analysis

You can also follow Jordan on Twitter: